Southwest Airlines took the No. 1 spot in the ranking, followed by Delta Air Lines in the No. 2 position. Delta is the dominant carrier in Atlanta, and Southwest is the second-largest. Both airlines improved their scores and rankings from last year.
Delta stands out in the industry for its pandemic policy of blocking middle seats through March 31, 2021, and ranks highest for cleanliness and seat comfort. But Southwest ranks higher for the check-in process and for the best value.
Airlines saw a decline in satisfaction with call centers, in a year when hundreds of thousands of travelers were trying to get refunds for canceled trips due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though airlines slashed their flight schedules this year due to the steep decline in travel, satisfaction with flight schedules dropped only 1%, according to ACSI. Carriers also significantly cut back their in-flight food and beverage service, but that did not play a big role in overall satisfaction.
The ACSI COVID-19 travel report was based on interviews with 4,642 customers chosen at random and contacted by e-mail between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. ACSI is a national economic indicator started at the University of Michigan and licensed to ACSI LLC.